History of Telephone Codes of ASEAN Countries
Perhaps, many of us have memorized all of the ASEAN member countries' names. But do we know how ASEAN country codes created? Why all of the country codes in ASEAN start with 6, 8 or 9? Why some countries have 2 digit phone codes, but the others have 3 digits?
Telephone devices were invented in the 1870s, but the concept of country codes was not introduced until the 1960s. In 1960, the ITU (International Telecommunication Union) organization published guidelines for standardizing country codes, which were contained in a report known as the Red Book. At that time, Red Book mostly only included European countries and were no more than two digits long.
In 1964, these rules were enhanced through a new guidebook, the Blue Book. This guide divides the world into 9 major zones, and country codes follow the zone numbers. Zone 1, 2 and so on until zone 9. Most ASEAN countries are in zone 6 (dialing code starting with 6). But there are also ASEAN countries in zones 8 and 9.
By using an old telephone device, of course it would be very troublesome if the phone number was very long. At the time, policymakers hoped that phone numbers would not be longer than 11 digits. Thus, countries with a small population will receive a 3 digit country code. Others will get 2 digits. Of course, it was a consideration in the past, it has not been imagined that one person can use several telephone numbers.
Just additional information. Few countries have single-digit codes. Code +1 is jointly owned by the United States and Canada. The code +7 is jointly owned by Russia and Kazakhstan. Previously this code +7 was owned by the Soviet Union. With the dissolution of the USSR, the fractional states used their respective codes. Only Russia and Kazakhstan use the code +7.